Chilliwack RCMP investigators are hoping an anonymous letter received early last week may lead to a break in the case of 10-year-old Jo-Anne Pedersen, who went missing more than 28 years ago.
“The Chilliwack RCMP believe that the author of this anonymous letter is a witness to the events leading up to the disappearance of Jo-Anne Pedersen,” Cpl. Tammy Hollingsworth said in a news release.
“It is imperative that the police speak to this witness as soon as possible,” she said.
“The letter does contain information that we find significant, and that we would like to know more about,” Hollingsworth said in a telephone interview Tuesday.
“That’s why we’re pleading … for this person to come forward.”
Pedersen was last seen on Feb. 19, 1983, at about 8:20 p.m. at the Penny Pinchers convenience store that once stood at the corner of Watson Road and Vedder Road in Sardis.
“Jo-Anne made a call from the phone booth asking her parents to pick her up because she was locked out of the house,” Hollingsworth said.
“By the time her parents arrived at the store, Jo-Anne was gone and has not been seen or heard from since.”
Witnesses at the time reported seeing a man in the phone booth with Pedersen.
But police have never been able to identify this man, even though investigators now believe he was only trying to help the youngster.
In February, 2008, the RCMP launched a major video re-enactment of the disappearance on television and the internet, in hope that it would bring more information.
But nothing came from that effort – until now.
“We don’t know what prompted this (letter),” Hollingsworth said. “We’re just interested in finding out more.”
Anyone with information about the investigation or the letter is asked to call Const. Justine Hayward at Chilliwack RCMP’s serious crime unit at 604-792-4611 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.